Foreknowledge of God

  • Acts 2:23 Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God
  • Acts 26:5 They knew me from the first, if they were willing to testify, that according to the strictest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee.
  • Romans 8:29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son.
  • Romans 11:2 God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew.
  • 1 Peter 1:2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God
  • 1 Peter 1:20 He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world
  • 2 Peter 3:17 You therefore beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from our own steadfastness

Of the seven times the noun or verb form of “foreknow” is used, two are used of humans who do not know the future, in order to indicate knowledge of the past, not the future.  One of the usages with reference to God also speaks of past knowledge (Romans 11:2).

Literally, the two parts of the word are “before-knowledge,” as in “to know beforehand.”  Commonly, the other four usages have been interpreted as “to know the future.”  However, three of the seven usages do not fit that definition.  If all usages are to be understood consistently, the meaning should be “to have known previously,” as in past knowledge that has application to future events.

  • Acts 2:23 Jesus’ death was part of God’s plan that was formed in the past
  • Acts 26:5 People could testify of facts of the past.
  • Romans 8:29 For whom God planned in the past, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son.
  • Romans 11:2 God knew the Israelites for a long time in the past
  • 1 Peter 1:2 Elect according to God’s plan that was formed in the past
  • 1 Peter 1:20 God formed the plan for Jesus before creation
  • 2 Peter 3:17 You know how it went for others.  Use this past knowledge to protect yourself.